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500 S&W from a carbine Barrel?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Grey Morel, Jun 19, 2010.

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  1. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel Member

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    I ran across some hand load data, .5gr below max, that claimed 2,200fps with a 370gr from a 20" carbine barrel. That's 4K foot pounds of muzzle energy! That exceeds both modern 45-70 or a 450 marlin.

    Is this true?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    ??

    Lyman #49 lists the .500 S&W tested in a 15" T/C Encore.

    They show max loads giving.
    275 Barnes = 2,111.
    325 Barnes = 1,971.
    350 XTP = 1,869.
    375 Barnes = 1,765.
    400 Sierra = 1,764.
    500 Hornady FP = 1,515.

    They further state that a 20" T/C carbine barrel they also tested showed very little velocity gain over what the 10" test barrel produced.

    rc
     
  3. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    I thought the data sounded a bit outrageous.
     
  4. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

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    Those velocities aren't much better than I'm getting in my pistol. :( I keep putting off picking up a Handi-Rifle in 500 S&W. Need to get off my duff and go pick one up. I'm still holding out hope for 2000+ with the 300 gr. FTX's and nearly that much with 350 gr. Sierra's. We'll see.
     
  5. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel Member

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    I understand how you feel Strongbad; I guess there's no way to CHEAT the system. :p

    RCmodel: How much is "Very little" velocity gain over the extra 5 inches? 20 fps? 10 fps?

    I would also be interested in seeing how the 460 S&W would perform in the same barrel length. I'm interested in a big bore PCC since they have recently been legalized for deer in my state. Giving a hard look to the TC Encore with the 20" fluted barrel.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  6. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

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    I've chronographed a bunch of reloads and factory ammo from my handi rifle.
    factory ammo:
    -winchester 400gr platinum tip HP=1,975fps
    -hornady 500gr FP XTP=1,568fps
    -doubletap 350gr JHP=2,157fps
    -hornday 300gr flex tip=2,248fps

    reloads:
    -440gr WFNGC, 35.0gr WIN 296=1,864fps
    -500gr hornady FP/XTP, 40.1gr AA1680=1,550fps
    -sierra 350gr, 48.7gr Lil Gun=2,310fps
    -speer 350gr UCSP, 48.5gr Lil Gun=2,385fps
    -460gr LFNGC, 38.0gr Lil Gun=1,893fps
    -hornady 300gr flextip, 51.0gr H110=2,389fps
    -400gr SPGC, 35.8gr Lil Gun=1,915fps
    -700gr ("Tyrannosaurus Thumper"), 27.0gr Lil Gun=1,373fps
     
  7. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

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    See, now that's on par with what I would expect. I understand that we're dealing with relatively quick burning powders here, but it's not like we're using 6 gr. of Unique or something that is going to burn up in the first 2 inches. We're still running 30-40 gr. of powder in these things, so I think the potential for increased velocity, probably out to about 20" is still there.

    I'm hoping your wrote something down on some of those loads, because those Li'l Gun loads are way over the max published loads. I don't mean just a little. That being said though, almost all the data that I'm aware of was done before they revised the SAAMI spec for the cartridge. They're all keeping right around 50k PSI, but the spec is 60k. I actually emailed Accurate a couple years back and asked them if they planned a retest and part of their response included "the pistol is just too violent at those levels".
     
  8. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel Member

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    Whoa, whoa, so the pressure specs were bumped up 10K?

    The load that sparked this discussion was using Li'l Gun... what kind of velocities are we talking for a 60K psi Li'l gun load?

    This load in itself is nipping at the heels of 4K, with a hair over 3,800ftlbs of muzzle energy! Heck, even with the poor BC of 50 cal handgun bullets, its still got as much energy at 300 yards as a 50 cal muzzle loader has at the muzzle...

    Its not quite an an elephant gun, But I think it makes a fine 200 yard deer gun for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  9. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

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    Strongbad-
    Which of these loads are over max? I've never loaded any rounds in any caliber over the max listed, either from reloading books, or credible websites. Some of these loads are right at the max, and some are a few tenths of a grain under, but none were over any of the data I found.

    I never experienced any signs of overpressure with them in my gun either. The closest I think I had to an overpressure problem was with the factory 350gr doubletap, and that's because it was difficult to open the gun and eject the cases IIRC.

    Grey Morel-
    The 350gr speer SP with 48.5gr of Lil Gun has even more knockdown at 4,422ft lbs. The Speer #14 manual list the max with that powder at 49.0gr too, so it will do even better than that, but it's nice to go a little under just in case, and that load probably kicks harder than any of the other ones, including the 500 and 700gr. The Speer manual also says that magnum primers should be used, but I used standard rifle primers in all the loads I've shot so far.
     
  10. BMF500

    BMF500 Member

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    coosbaycreep, have you had any problems with the action opening up on your Handi Rifle when firing it? I put 10 rounds down mine right after I bought it and 3 times it opened up on me. I sent it back to H&R and they said they have fixed it, but I'm a little weary about shooting it now.


    Strongbad, what gun were they using to test? A ported Smith? My BFR with no brake and no ports is pretty violent with factory ammo. I've shot a couple of ported Smith's and there is quite a difference in felt recoil.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  11. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

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    No, mine's never opened up while shooting it. Before I bought mine, I had heard that that was a common problem with them though, but I think it is probably just the earlier ones.
     
  12. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

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    This is the load I was talking about... again, not calling anyone on the carpet here... just something I noticed as a fellow handloader.

    -sierra 350gr, 48.7gr Lil Gun=2,310fps

    Hodgdon has the max for the 350 gr. Hornady (very similar bullet, I've shot both) as 42 gr. So you're almost 7 gr over what they've got posted. 42 is as hot as I've ever run with the 350's and Li'l Gun

    To answer the other question about pressure that Grey Morel was asking. Yes, the SAAMI spec was revised from 50k to 60k. The same as the 460.
     
  13. Seismic Sam

    Seismic Sam Member

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    FWIW, the velocity data for Hornady factory 350 grain XTP loads is 1900 FPS for 2960 ft-lbs, which gives you the same muzzle energy as a 30-06.

    As additional data, I have a Tromix Sledgehammer in 50 AE with an 18" barrel with 2" added for brake, and the loads that chrono at 1400 in my 6" DE50 will chrono at 1800 in the Tromix. I would expect the same results for a 500 Smith in an 18" barrel. In the 50AE situation, all loads were 32.5 grains of 296 under a Speer 325 JHP. Considering the muzzle blast on my Tromix is still substantial, I think the theory that 500 Smith loads are done after 8 - 10" of barrel length is FALSE. Geez, we're talking about 60,000 PSI loads here, and not 18,000 PSI 45 ACP loads using Bullseye powder. Considering the flame from a hot Smith pistol load can be three feet long in an 8 3/8" barrel, there's plenty of burning powder left to boost the velocity in a longer barrel.
     
  14. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

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    strongbad-
    The Speer manual lists 49.0gr of lil gun as max for their 350gr. The 7th edition Hornady manual lists 38.6gr for their 350gr, which is a HUGE difference. Hornady lists their COL as 2.000", and Speer lists theirs as 2.250"

    I don't have the sierra manual, and I can't remember where I got the data I used for the sierra 350, but all of my data has either came from bullet companies, powder companies, or reputable reloading websites.

    I'm not sure how much of a difference there is between the 350gr bullets from hornady, sierra, and speer either, but I never had overpressure problems in my gun....just a really sore shoulder, and targets with really big holes in them.

    Either way though, I'm going to doublecheck all the latest data next time I get some empty brass to load, because there seems to have been a lot of recent changes in published data for this cartrige.
     
  15. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

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    Sam, I think you're absolutely right. I think the 500 has a lot to offer in a carbine. That settles it. Time to get off my --- and go pick up a Handi-Rifle. I atleast have to have ONE new rifle before the next hunting season. To not have one would be a travesty, and that's a cheap way to get there.

    Coosbay, let me know if you run into anything hokie. Admittedly as far as the data goes, I've mainly used AA's data and Hodgdon since those are the powders I've been using. Even though my manuals aren't that old, none of them have the 500 S&W and I just haven't broken down and dropped the $100 or so that I need to, to update my collection of books.

    I too need to reload some of my 500 Smith cases. Finally split one back in January on a hunting trip. That's the first one. I've got gobs of loads through those things though, so it was going to happen sooner or later. Fortunately, I was able to pick up some Remington 9.5 LR primers at Cabela's over the weekend since that's what I use. So I should be good for another 200 rds which is enough to keep me busy for a couple of months. I've got to get some different scope rings and put the scope back on before I can use it anyway.
     
  16. mjyeagle

    mjyeagle Member

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    for the 460 most loads are 45 to 50k but can i have heard it can handel 65k almost all my max loads are over spec but every gun is different some guns can be worked up farther than others but i go as far as i can in every one of my guns max loads shoot the best but i am very picky when it comes to my notes thats the way the old man taught me
     
  17. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    I have had the most fun in I don't know when shooting and reloading for my 500 Handi-Rifle. My buddies love to see its awesome power on display.

    I have not had a single issue with it breaking open when firing but the most aggrivating thing about it is the plastic sights, both front and rear. I just had a smith install some iron sights from a Rem. 700 on it he had stashed away. Can't wait to try them out.

    Powders I like to use for it are AA4100 &W296. I get cast lead gas check bullets from Montana Bullet Works and Ranier plated bullets from Midway. the barrel always stays shiney clean. I was quite surprised by the fast twist rate in the barrel of the 500 handi rifle too.

    Enjoy!!!
     
  18. Mikey164

    Mikey164 Member

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    I have not started reloding for the 500 yet but I love it to death It shoots 400 grain solids through trees. I also have had problems with the cheap plastic sights.
     
  19. Deavis

    Deavis Member

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    Don't forget that many guides list maximum charges at 50k psi to avoid brass extraction issues in revolver chambers but the MAP for that cartridge is 60k psi. Speer specifically states that they don't stop at 50k psi since none of their loads showed extraction in their test revolver.
     
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